[Papercut Press Publishing] 1998-07-22 - God's Power

Pray unceasingly 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Before I get to the question may I say that these questions have been very well received. I am always looking for more. However, every time I have attempted to tackle one, others have replied that they had the very same question. I don't have all the answers and I admit I might be wrong, but I am doing the best I can. Being gracious is a great Christian virtue and I beg you all to be gracious to me. Here we go:

"Does a persons lack of faith put limits on God's power? I've heard people say that if someone will just trust in God, what they pray for will happen. Ex: healing, better job ect."

I have been waiting to answer this question because I love it so much. And while I don't want to be simplistic, I am going to try to be. The answer is that nothing limits God's power. The only thing that can limit God is God's choice to limit Himself. This is called, by theological types, the Omnipotence of God. It means simply God has all power.

To say that if we trust God, what we pray for will happen, is clearly false. Think about it with me for a second. If that statement were true, every election would be won by a Christian, every lottery winner would be a Christian, and everyone who died would die because no Christian was praying for them. We know these things are absurd.

God does answer prayer and at times He lovingly says "NO!". No one who is raising a child gives that child everything it asks for. So God, with loving care, grants us answers to prayer tenderly, and according to what is best for us.

I've prayed for some really stupid things before and I'm glad that God was wise enough to feel un-obligated to give me what I asked for. I admit that sometimes my prayers have been so stupid that it was as if I had a choice between steak and arsenic for dinner and I prayed for the arsenic. I'm sure God laughed and said, you fool, I'm giving you steak, I know what is best for you my child.

I often mention the tenderness of God in these devotionals. I can not say it enough. God is so very gracious to us. His loving care extends so far beyond what we deserve and even hearing our prayers is a gracious act of benevolence. The mercy of God is much more than we can even imagine and I am sure that there are many forgiven sinners reading this who can with me say, "Yes, and Yes, God loves me more than I deserve, He is tender to me!"

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tim